When I first moved to DC, I was comparing everything to Jacksonville-friends/acquiantances, churches, my sorority chapters, things to do, places to go, EVERYTHING! But I was especially hard on churches. My home in church in Jacksonville spoiled me. Not only was I involved with the Step Ministry, the Youth Mininstry, and the Young Adult Ministry, I knew people. We hung out. They were my friends. I even had close relationships with some of the parents of the youth. I have to admit I was a little intimidated when I moved to DC. With everything being spread out and having so many options, I didn’t know what to do.
When I decided to stop being a baby and comparing everything to Jacksonville, I began to really consider my options and my desires for the things I needed to make this place home. I was very specific with my desires for a church home. I wanted to attend a Baptist church, I wanted a church IN DC-not Virginia or Maryland, I wanted to attend a church that had a weekly Bible study, and I wanted a church that had a number of ministries with which I could get involved. I thought I found a church. I enjoyed the message. The people seemed nice. It honestly reminded me of my church in Jacksonville. And I decided to join. But something happened. After being told certain people would contact me to schedule my new member classes, I heard nothing. No one called me, no one e-mailed me. And I admit, I could have easily reached out, but I didn’t want to. It also dawned on me that eventually, this church was going to move to its permanent location in Maryland. And yes, while I admit it may be a STUPID reason to not want to go to a church, I feel justified in my decision. I haven’t been back to that church since.
I found another church I absolutely LOVE. The pastor is young, there a lot of young people that attend, and they have numerous activities geared towards the young, Christian professional. Ding ding ding!!! But, the church has some undesirables. First, I felt like I was in the club. Not by the way people dressed or behaved, but because everybody and their momma attends this church. You had to get there early to get a seat in the sanctuary. And the parking was ridiculous. I always had to park a number of blocks from the church, and I jacked up two pairs of heels walking the sidewalk on Sunday mornings.
Since I couldn’t find what I wanted on my own, I decided to reach out to my friends on Facebook. I was very specific with what I requested-a Baptist church located in DC that preferably had a parking lot. While I am FOREVER grateful for their suggestions and recommendations, nothing really stuck out to me. So I was back to my own devices. I especially wanted a church in DC because I work so far from home, I want to be able to worship close to my house-which means I wont’ be driving 40+ minutes 6 days out of the week. This weekend, I did my own “research” and found a church. It was Baptist. It was located in DC. They had a number of ministries. And it wasn’t far from my house. When I got there, I didn’t have to park far from the front doors, and when I walked in, everyone was super nice. The older ladies talked to me like they knew me. The message was great, I enjoyed service, and I even saw a face that I recognized. All in all, it was a great Sunday morning. The church isn’t super big, but I do get the feeling that most everyone knows everyone. And it was slightly diverse. I noticed a few non-Blacks in the pews.
So, this may be a bit premature, but I think I’ve found a church home. Of course I have to attend a few more services to be sure, but I will definitely be going back. For those of you that pray, please say a prayer on my behalf. Please pray that if this is the church for me, that God will show me in due time. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!
- Is It Time To Change Churches? (praisedc.com)
- Jacksonville, Florida Pastors Launch “Save Our Sons” Initiative to Help Young Black Males (blackchristiannews.com)
- Can an Established Church Pastor Learn New Tricks? (halls4indy.com)
- This is Your Ministry!!! (willkking.wordpress.com)
I’m happy for you. I know how difficult it is to find a church home that fulfills you spiritually.
Thanks! Because I’m a skeptic, I’m going to have to visit a few more times. Plus, I went to my church in Jacksonville for three summers until I decided to join.